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Jazz and Java 2014

Each year in March, the Jazz Choir and Jazz Band at the high school put on a pair of concerts to fund raise for their Festival Trip and to show off their hard work.  The concerts are in the commons which are set up like a cafe.  The set lasts about an hour and a half and the sound in the commons is amazing.

When Nathan first started at Skyline, I wondered why there was a jazz choir.  I thought it was strange because kids don’t listen to jazz, why would they want to sing it?  But now it’s clear that jazz hits a certain sweet spot where the kids can push their limits both individually and as a group and look and sound amazing doing it.  It also requires little to no ability to dance which makes it a bit more approachable (sorry Mrs. P!  Though the singers do still have to smile and relax on stage).

I took some videos.  The images are pretty terrible and the sound probably doesn’t capture the full depth of the sounds we heard, but if you couldn’t be there, it’s better than nothing.

The choir and band both competed at the Lionel Hampton Jazz festival in February at University of Idaho.  The Jazz Choir got several honors and got to perform their huge gospel number on the big stage on Friday evening.  These videos show that they have a lot more range than just their knockout gospel song (“I Know Where I’ve Been”).

Nathan has a fun solo about halfway though this one:

“Run To You” was put together in a very short time.  Nathan was practicing his part in the living room the other night.  He sounded amazing and the finished product is fantastic too.

Here is their signature piece for the year which features two standout singers.

They closed out the set with “Smack Dab In the Middle” which was a combination of the choir and band which featured among others, a surprise solo vocal performance by the drummer.

Noah teamed up with Nathan at the middle solo and ensemble contest.  They worked really hard, practicing a lot in the living room.  They impressed the judge and me.  Noah got a score of 1+.  Nothing more to add.

Sing-a-Grams

For Valentines Day, the Jazz Choir.  Nathan is to the right, center stage.

 

Introducing:  Noah!

 

Nathan is in the center right of the top row.

Amazing I must say!

Good Job Guys!

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This January was a long way from January in 2013 when all three of my favorite teams lost in the playoffs on the same weekend.  Now the outcome is already a few weeks old and very anticlimactic.  A ton of people went downtown on a work day to celebrate at the Seahawks parade.

If this had happened to my teams when I was a kid, I would have been over the moon.  And it was and is fun to see a region united by one common interest.    But these days, there are just just bigger and more important things.

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Still, we hope the Hawks (guess I can’t call them the SeaChickens anymore!) do it again next year so we can have home-field advantage on the ski slopes on playoff days!

stolen joke:
A horse walks into a bar and the bartender says “why the long face?”
Well it was a Bronco…

Olive Dunwoody

Do you see a resemblence?

Resemblence

Olive Dunwoody

Naomi recommends the Books of Elsewhere by Jacqueline West.

Slouchy Weenie

Slouchy Weenie

Guess what I am for Halloween?

Guess what I am for Halloween?

What have I done?!

What have I done?!

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Spooky Gourds

Spooky Gourds

Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty

A Present from Noah

Noah, 13

Noah, 13

Noah turned 13 on Friday.  Thursday night was his first Choir concert of the year.  This is his second year in the Beaver Lake Choir and he is one of about 30 in the boys choir.  Participation seems to be up among the boys.  It could be the possibility of going to Disney in 8th grade.  Or the fact that Mrs. W. has made it a very welcoming place for the guys, a place where you get to sing Monty Python and where getting up in front of your buds and singing is a cool thing.

In a choir, your voice is blended so aside from a few shower arias, we don’t exactly know what their voices are like.  That is the case until they do a solo at one of the concerts.  Noah sang the opening to “Proud To Be An American” as part of the Veteran’s tribute.  This is a bit of a tradition for the Choir at the fall show. Now we know that Noah has a beautifully developing bass, can carry a tune with skill, and has the poise to sing in front of an audience.  It was quite the nice birthday present from Noah.

The next day, he got to do a repeat performance in front of the entire school and he learned that when you put yourself out there in front of the student body, you become instantly recognizable.  Then when word leaks that it’s also your birthday, you get a lot of happy birthday wishes while passing in the hall.

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I've got a pickle mustache!

I’ve got a pickle mustache!

I'll protect you!

I’ll protect you!

Puzzled

Puzzled

 

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